Who will emerge the victor of the Great War?

  • Central Powers

    Votes: 37 51.4%
  • Entente Powers

    Votes: 35 48.6%
  • Other Outcome (Comment)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
CoTF: Chapter Five
Chapter Five: Wheel of History

December 30th, 1912- The American Elections of 1912 have ended conclusively.

Theodore Roosevelt who had been the President of America from 1901 - 1909 decided to go back on his promise to not run for a 3rd term. Even though in 1911 he had said to a news reporter that there “is a one in a thousandth chance for me to run for the elections again.” Later in 1912 he had backtracked on that statement and his promise and decided to contest Republican Nominations. In the nominations he went against his friend William Howard Taft, who himself has the support of many conservatives among the Republican Party and La Follette who represented a radical progressive element of the Republican Party.

Roosevelt had then entered the race knowing he was up against a tough opponent. He had known that Taft, who had been a long-time friend who he himself had chosen as his successor, was a mastermind when it came to the machinations of the Republican Party, although much less so when it came to his abilities as a President. He also knew that Taft had control of the credentials committee, that he would have control of most of the contested delegates. Thus he himself decided that the only way he could win was to ally with all the few conservatives who had joined his side, and the progressive radicals of La Follette. He had called off a supposed attack on the judiciary which would alienate the conservative delegates that he could gain. He also proceeded to take a slightly more conservative but still progressive stance in his campaigns.

March on North Dakota

The first Presidential Preference Primary was held in North Dakota. The campaign there was almost exclusively between Roosevelt and La Follette. La Follette had appeared in the lead at first however Roosevelt had set up news agencies who printed in favour of him, and he himself began campaigning fiercely, he then proceeded to narrowly beat La Follette.

New York

New York is the home state of Roosevelt, and it held special importance for Roosevelt as it would be an embarrassing defeat for Roosevelt if he had lost his home state. He had known the importance of the control of news agencies from his time in North Dakota and his time as a president. He had also known that Taft had gained control of the New York Times, which due to it being incredibly popular could easily make or break the vote. A few hours before the vote New York Times had reported that Taft had won 131 out of 170 delegations nationwide. This stunned New York voter and had convinced them that Roosevelt would not win against the former president. However, Roosevelt did the best of his abilities to blunt the shock, using his own power saying that New York Times had reported falsely, he had prepared for this and the few news agencies that he had the support of, reported that Roosevelt himself had in actuality the majority of the delegates. This however could not save him, Taft won a near 60% to Roosevelt’s 40% vote, with La Follette barely being present. This was a stunning defeat for Roosevelt.

Victories of Roosevelt

Despite his setback in New York, Roosevelt continued to campaign fiercely, he proceeded to win Illinois with 61% of the vote to Taft 29% and La Follette 10%, gaining every single county from Taft except a few from Chicago. This gave faith to his voters, and he proceeded to win Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Oregon; solidifying his momentum.


Massachusetts was a Republican, Conservative leaning state. This naturally favoured Taft who had support of the Conservatives, yet Massachusetts was surprisingly close between Roosevelt and Taft, where Taft was about eke out a narrow victory, Roosevelt’s decision of allying with the few conservatives and the momentum he had gained from past victories had helped him pull through with a 50% - 48% victory in favour of Roosevelt and the rest being taken by La Follette.

Second Round of Roosevelt’s Victories

After his victory in Massachusetts and a number of other states, Roosevelt had taken momentum from Taft, and he proceeded win another close victory in Maryland, a major victory in California with 2:1 ratio of the number of delegates he gained there compared to Taft, he swept New Jersey, South Dakota and even the home state of Taft, Ohio with relative ease.

Republican Conventions

Roosevelt didn’t expect the voting in the primaries itself to be the worst difficulty, but rather the conventions itself. Since Taft himself was a mastermind when it came to the machinations of the Republican Party, though he himself had only 201 pledged delegates, he managed to claim that another 146 uninstructed delegates were really in his column. Then Roosevelt himself had 500 delegates pledged to him with 36 delegates to La Follette, with in total 540 delegates needed for nomination. That left 210 unclaimed delegates, who were at the command of the Credentials Committee which was controlled by Taft. Roosevelt attempted to win support from La Follett by backing the governor of Wisconsin (La Follettes’s home state), Francis McGovern. However, La Follette had a naive hatred for Roosevelt, he rejected Francis McGovern’s candidacy, instead Elihu Root was elected by Taft’s men. This marked a big setback for the progressives. Unto the unclaimed delegates, Roosevelt tried pleasing the Party leaders, who were in charge of the Credentials Committee and it did have some effect on their decision. The Credentials Committee awarded 180 delegates to Taft and 30 to Roosevelt, giving Taft 544/540 required to be nominated, which indicated a bias among the Credentials Committee, Roosevelt immediately contested the awarded delegates, he made it a public effort saying that the delegates awarded to Taft were of pure theft. He accused that 30 of the delegates of Taft were fraudulent, the Republican National Committee looked into it, and awarded only 12 of the 30 accused delegates to Roosevelt. Meanwhile La Follette had been festering in the background, he had re-thought his decision regarding Francis McGovern’s candidacy which was in hindsight an unanalysed move that had cost the progressives dearly. After the 12 accused delegates were awarded to Roosevelt, the total was - Roosevelt 522/540 to be nominated, Taft 532/540 and La Follette 36/540. Though he despised Roosevelt he realised the gravity of the situation and realised that if he would give his support to Roosevelt the progressives as a whole would get a bigger say, thus then he put aside his prejudice and gave his delegates to Roosevelt, which surprised both Roosevelt and Taft as it now placed Roosevelt at 548/540 delegates which put him above Taft. This had secured Roosevelt’s nomination in the convention; he later himself had thanked La Follette and said that his move was good for all progressives. While Taft himself had been shocked and surprised, he still decided to rest after the bitter fought nominations. Finally, the nominations had drawn to a close.

The Elections


On the sides of the democrats, Woodrow Wilson who had been the governor of New Jersey was contesting for the post of President, with his running mate and Vice President Thomas R Marshall alongside him.

On the side of the Republicans, Theodore Roosevelt, who had been president from 1908-1909 ran for his 3rd term. And in a move that surprised everyone except Theodore Roosevelt himself, he picked his opponent Taft as his Vice President and running mate, a move that had not been done since the time of Abraham Lincoln. After the nominations Taft and Roosevelt had decided to conserve their friendship, saying that “although we may be enemies of each other in politics, this doesn’t mean we cannot be friends.” Thus Roosevelt still did know the prowess that Taft possessed and decided that by appointing him as the Vice President he would not only revive his old friendship, but would also unite all the Republicans into one, as with Taft he would have the support of conservatives as well.

The election itself was a joke. The Republicans who had all their sectors united, with the Conservatives under Taft, Progressives under Roosevelt and Radical Progressives under La Follette managed to smash Woodrow Wilson’s democrats. Obtaining a record of 39 of 48 states, with 54% of the popular vote and 61% of the electoral vote.

January 6th, 1913- The frontlines in Ethiopia begin to simmer down, with Italian Somaliland lost to the Ethiopian forces but a noticeable chunk of land gained from Eritrea, albeit at great cost. Neither side has enough firepower to dislodge the other fully, and so the armies settle down for a stalemate.

January 14th, 1913- Officer of the Okhrana, Georgy Popov Obolensky, Moscow:

“The expansion of the Okhrana has been a great success so far. Many new agents have been recruited from the ranks of the armed forces and police. The next step in the expansion is the opening of regional offices in all provinces and major cities of the Russian Empire. These regional offices will range from small posts with a few dozen people working to large campuses with thousands of agents working there. In order to keep the flow of fresh promising agents high the top 5% of the graduates of the military academies will be offered jobs in the Okhrana.

The goal of the expansion within the Russian Empire remains to make sure that the internal stability remains guaranteed. Through passive means the troublemakers are getting picked out and tracked. If there is proof of them being a danger for society further measures will be taken. However, to make sure that the Okhrana doesn't get a further reputation of an authoritarian institute a special commission will be created to make sure that the measures are appropriate and that enough evidence has been collected for a conviction.

Furthermore, the Okhrana will continue their expansion internationally. Both within and outside of the empire promising recruits with native speaking skills in German, Swedish, Croatian, Serbian, Norwegian, French, English, Spanish, Farsi, Italian, Bosnian, Greek, Turkish, Syrian, Arabic, Japanese, Hindi, etc. will be recruited into the service. This way a global network of agents will be created to provide the Russian Empire with intelligence from all over the world.”

Obolensky finished reading, and grunted contentedly. It was an adequate report to provide to his superiors in the shadowy Russian secret police. The Bolshevik threat and number of seditionists was on the rise, and Obolensky was at the forefront of the reforms and expansion the Okhrana was going through. Putting down the report he’d been reading, he scouted his crowded desktop for the report on the proposed Office of Strategic Balkan Studies.

“Within the Okhrana a sub-organization will be created with a special focus on the Balkan region and Eastern-Central Europe in general. From the headquarters in Kazan the overall operation will be led and a regional headquarters will be opened in secret in Belgrade. From the regional headquarters the smaller missions will be overseen such as the infiltration of governmental and military organizations in the region.

Especially the Austro-Hungarian Empire will be a permanent subject to the attention of the Office of Strategic Balkan Studies. Where possible the independence movements within the empire such as the Czechs, Bosnians, Croats, Hungarians, Slovaks, etc. will get monetary and, if needed, military support…”

A sound distracted him and he glanced up. There it came again, a steady drumroll. He smiled- it was raining and he had always loved rain. Sighing, he put down the proposal and put his head in his hands. He knew the OSBS would almost certainly be approved and it was equally certain that he’d be chosen to lead the organisation, from Belgrade. That would mean leaving behind Natalia and little Nikolai. Georgy Popov was a loyal son of the motherland, and he was cold-hearted in many ways: after all, he had personally tortured and killed many a Communist and anti-Tsarist. Yet, he loved his family and had a strong feeling that if he went to Belgrade, he would never return. The thought sickened him.

But there was nothing he could do.

January 23rd, 1913- Members of the Committee of Union and Progress led by Ismail Enver Bey raid the central Government buildings in Turkey. The surprise coup is successful, sweeping into power the triumvirate of the "Three Pashas", Enver, Talaat and Cemal.

With the culmination of the Young Turks movement, the Ottoman Empire has become an absolute dictatorship, repressing opposition and establishing a rule of terror. With this domestic struggle, the Ottoman war machine has finally ceded Albania to its rebels, and shortly after the coup the Ottoman military withdraws from Albania.

January 27th, 1913- The Albanian People’s Republic holds a referendum asking its people whether they wished to continue the independent Albanian project, pursue unification with Serbia, or ask for an annexation by Italy. The Referendum’s results decisively cement the independence of Albania, much to the chagrin of Rome and Moscow. Over 95% of the responses call for Albanian independence, although the veracity of the referendum has been questioned.

Despite the withdrawal of Turkish forces, the fighting in Albania has not completely ceased. Many right-wing militias continue to pester the Communist leadership of the nation and conflict continues to brew on a small-scale in the countryside. It will be years before Albania is fully free of gunshots.
Finally reached page two!

This update mainly dealt with the American election of 1912 (which I totally didn't forget about) so sorry if you aren't interested in American history much. Anyway, would appreciate comments and feedback! :)
Just finished reading through this - very interesting, I like the amount of detail that you've put into these conflicts and to domestic developments among the major powers.
Just finished reading through this - very interesting, I like the amount of detail that you've put into these conflicts and to domestic developments among the major powers.
Thank you! I'm glad to be receiving a bit more interest. The more people read the more motivated I'll be to write :).
I'm going to try and post the next update sometime after June ends. In the meantime, I'm open to any questions anyone might have about what's occurred/is occurring so far in the Timeline, including in nations not discussed or not discussed much.
I wonder what will happen with Romania, so far it seems like they are aligning with the CP powers.

-The Romania player

But honestly now, this documentation of the roleplay is great, I cannot wait to read more of it soon! Keep it up and I cannot wait for the sequel <3
I'm going to try and post the next update sometime after June ends. In the meantime, I'm open to any questions anyone might have about what's occurred/is occurring so far in the Timeline, including in nations not discussed or not discussed much.
What is going on in Russian occupied Poland and Baltic States right now?
What is going on in Russian occupied Poland and Baltic States right now?
Pretty much the same as OTL since the PODs and their butterflies have not impacted those areas too directly. The Baltic and Polish people continue to resist Russification efforts, but the Baltics have less nationalist tendencies (their populations are rather pro-Germanic) whereas the Poles are advancing specifically the cause for a free Polish state without any foreign influence. Polish passive resistance ITTL is slightly more widespread since Russia's resources were taken up by the conflict in Albania and power plays near Afghanistan.